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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Transvaal Indian Congress (TIC)

The Transvaal Indian Congress was reactivated in May 1983. Along with the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) it played an important part in the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF). Dr Essop Jassat was appointed president and Dr R A M Saloojee vice-president. The TIC has the same roots as the NIC, since both emerged from the South African Indian Congress.

In 1984 the TIC launched an active campaign to dissuade Indians from participating in the first election for the House of Delegates. The organisation aims at achieving a non-racial South Africa, free from all forms of discrimination. It saw all those who participated in the 1984 election as "cowardly supporters of apartheid". Candidates in the election were accused of having a "long history of supporting apartheid" and of having "no influence in the community". A week prior to the election many leaders of the TIC were arrested. The violence which broke out in black townships in the Vaal Triangle in September 1984 also spread to Indian neighbourhoods. The TIC accused the "opportunists and supporters of apartheid" of impairing the relationship between blacks and Indians.

The TIC remained active despite the fact that key leaders of the organisation were imprisoned. It focused in particular on the actions of the House of Delegates. In Lenasia (out-side Johannesburg) numerous,cam paigns were launched to politicize residents and involve them actively in the TIC. The organisation held its first conference in five years in August 1988 in Johannesburg. It wasdecided that one of its chief aims would be to defeat the government's policy of coopting Indians, and to unite members in the national liberation movement. On this occasion, the chairman of Actstop, Cassim Saloojee, was elected president. Many TIC leaders visited the ANC later that year in Lusaka and subsequently is-sued a statement that "acknowledgement of the ANC is central to any solution". In May 1989 members of the TIC and a deputation from Cosatu and the NIC visited the then prime minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. One result of this meeting was the Indian government's decision to refuse entry into India to all Indians who participated in "government structures" in South Africa.

Like the NIC, the TIC also considered disbanding and integrating with the ANC after its unbanning in February 1990. However, this proposal will first have to be discussed at a congress of the organisation. In the meantime the organisation has made its infrastructure available for the recruitment of ANC members.

In March 1991 the ANC announced, however, that the TIC would continue as an independent organisation a decision sharply criticized by the ANCYL. It is possible that the TIC wishes to make the Indian minority group feel favourable towards the ANC because it wishes to represent this group at the negotiating table.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.